This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
The message boards have been upgraded. Please log in to your existing account by clicking here. It will ask twice, so that it can properly update your password and login information. If it has trouble recognizing your password, click the 'Forgot your password?' link to reset it with a new password sent to your email address on file.

Author Topic: Chivalry and Sorcery  (Read 5049 times)

David Johansen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • D
  • Posts: 5353
    • View Profile
Chivalry and Sorcery
« on: March 06, 2017, 12:48:21 AM »
Well, since The Pundit is talking about authentic medieval rpgs I thought I'd start a thread on the grand daddy of them all, Chivalry and Sorcery.  The backstory is a couple guys from Alberta Canada went to a very early Gen Con and took their document Chevalier to the TSR booth, all full of hopes and dreams and visions of glory and got laughed out of the booth.  So, they hooked up with Fantasy Games Unlimited to bring the world C&S.  Now I've owned and read first edition C&S.  And it's not really clear at times but it's not half as bad as people say.  I also played and owned and DMed third edition before whatever drama it was killed it off.  I'll confess that I never bought into fourth.  Third was interesting but there were some unintended consequences in terms of first level characters that could rip trolls limb from limb.  I've got a copy of The Dragon Reaches of Markush by the fourth edition guys.  It's a decent enough medival fantasy setting.  Nothing spectacular or new really though it does get into the issues associated with having a dragon for a king.  Well done just not really remarkable.

Oh well, anyhow, I'm known for my love of baroque and bizarre systems and I'm a big fan of knights and castles and such like. I won't deny that C&S somewhat inspired The Arcane Confabulation.  So, are there any C&S fans around here?  Did anyone get second edition?  I always wanted it but that big, fat box was $35.  I've heard the saurians supplement was pretty good.  Did anyone use their "award winning" miniatures rules?  Bireme and Galley?

I'd like to hear about it.
My new website is a mess http://www.uncouthsavage.com but actually should be working now!

Voros

  • BANNED
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3537
    • View Profile
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2017, 03:27:22 AM »
I like some of the setting detail but I can't recall which edition I read back in the day. I'd pick up a hardcopy of it for that alone.  4th edition is free on Drivethru for those who want to check it out.

Hermes Serpent

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • H
  • Posts: 228
    • View Profile
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2017, 04:53:15 AM »
I loved C&S back  in the day, replaced all my fantasy role playing with the one red book and the later three books (2nd ed). My brother wrote up the Forester for 2nd and played a necromancer in Ed's campaign for some time. I wrote material for later editions, Knights and Armourers Companions, and still have occasional attempts to get the game going for Rebirth every now and again.

Very fond memories of C&S. I picked up a copy of 2nd ed again recently (all my original C&S material was left in the States when I moved back to the UK) and would love to get some of the 2nd ed supplements, Saurians, Swords and Sorcerers, Sourcebooks one and two, Destrier, Bireme and Galley - those plans were great for boarding actions.

Larsdangly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • L
  • Posts: 1774
    • View Profile
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2017, 12:42:10 PM »
C&S is the bees knees. It delivers everything it promises, just in a package that made more sense in 1977 than it does to a modern eye. I recommend 1st edition, both because it is often most interesting to read an author's first take on a creative idea, when the inspiration is still fresh, and because it is actually the best single volume presentation of the game. 2nd edition is more or less the same material re-organized and re presented (but also redacted of some cool material). 3rd edition did nothing to improve the brand. 4th edition heads off in directions that can only be described as heavily system-focused. Basically, they decided to 'fix' all the arbitrary mechanics in the original game, and ended up climbing up their own asses in an effort to present the most detailed and realistic possible presentation of skills, armor, etc. for a medieval game. The end result is a very solid game and better, just in a design sense, than anything that came before. But at a heavy cost: there is basically no anima left in the books because all the cool stuff that made C&S unique were left on the cutting room floor.

I could go on and on; I played and ran a ton of this game, own a complete set of all 1st edition materials in beautifully preserved copies (as well as later editions), and I often go to these books for ideas in my own game design projects. I don't have the time or inclination to spew all my thoughts into one post, but ask away if you are interested about anything in particular!

David Johansen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • D
  • Posts: 5353
    • View Profile
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2017, 01:58:22 PM »
Third edition's skill scape system isn't terrible but I think the implementation of the magic system is.  Too many D&D spells.  I do like that a high level spell caster can do things like calling up a hurricane.  I always want magic to be capable of truly epic scope at high levels.  It's sad to hear that fourth edition carried on down the stale and mechanical path.  It was supposed to restore some of the character to the system.  Actually I was very disappointed that they never did the sf version.
My new website is a mess http://www.uncouthsavage.com but actually should be working now!

AsenRG

  • Bloody Weselian Hippy
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5036
    • View Profile
    • http://storiescharactersandsystemsinrpgs.blogspot.com/
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 04:51:47 PM »
Quote from: Larsdangly;949560
C&S is the bees knees. It delivers everything it promises, just in a package that made more sense in 1977 than it does to a modern eye. I recommend 1st edition, both because it is often most interesting to read an author's first take on a creative idea, when the inspiration is still fresh, and because it is actually the best single volume presentation of the game. 2nd edition is more or less the same material re-organized and re presented (but also redacted of some cool material). 3rd edition did nothing to improve the brand. 4th edition heads off in directions that can only be described as heavily system-focused. Basically, they decided to 'fix' all the arbitrary mechanics in the original game, and ended up climbing up their own asses in an effort to present the most detailed and realistic possible presentation of skills, armor, etc. for a medieval game. The end result is a very solid game and better, just in a design sense, than anything that came before. But at a heavy cost: there is basically no anima left in the books because all the cool stuff that made C&S unique were left on the cutting room floor.

I could go on and on; I played and ran a ton of this game, own a complete set of all 1st edition materials in beautifully preserved copies (as well as later editions), and I often go to these books for ideas in my own game design projects. I don't have the time or inclination to spew all my thoughts into one post, but ask away if you are interested about anything in particular!

OK, seems like you're the one to ask:).

If one is not not looking for inspiration, just for correct setting information and mechanics that represent it well, which edition would you recommend?
Assume that the question of "is this mechanic too heavy" is meaningless to the one asking;).
What Do You Do In Tekumel? See examples!
"Life is not fair. If the campaign setting is somewhat like life then the setting also is sometimes not fair." - Bren

Arminius

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7270
    • View Profile
    • http://ewilen.livejournal.com/
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2017, 06:31:48 PM »
I've had the boxed set on my shelf for decades now. Can't quite get myself to part with it but I haven't looked too closely either. There was a forum dedicated to it; dunno if it's still around.

(For something which I imagine is somewhat similar if simpler system-wise, there's the even more obscure Shades of Fantasy. By similar I mean that it tends to take the process of turning fantasy into an RPG almost de novo, avoiding a lot of D&Disms and then adding its own bits of weirdness.)

Spellslinging Sellsword

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
    • View Profile
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2017, 08:01:09 PM »
I bought 3rd edition and 4th edition (aka Rebirth) from the local gaming store when they were out. Ran a few sessions of 4th edition using the I.C.E. Robin Hood book. Moved shortly after starting that campaign, so it didn't go any length. Recently started a Mythras campaign and used the father's vocation tables from C&S as I like them better than the ones in Mythras.

trechriron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1845
    • View Profile
    • https://www.trechriron.com
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2017, 08:32:12 PM »
One of my gamer friends (Lloyd Wiebe - RIP bro) knew the creators and play-tested the game for them. I just had to pop in and give Lloyd the spiritual shout out. Man I miss the Professor. :-(
Trentin C Bergeron (trechriron)
Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast

----------------------------------------------------------------------
All About Me, RPG Stuff...
D.O.N.G. Black-Belt (Thanks tenbones!)
Unfortunately for the perma-offended, reality lacks a trigger warning. - Warboss Squee

Larsdangly

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • L
  • Posts: 1774
    • View Profile
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2017, 10:50:12 PM »
Quote from: AsenRG;949592
OK, seems like you're the one to ask:).

If one is not not looking for inspiration, just for correct setting information and mechanics that represent it well, which edition would you recommend?
Assume that the question of "is this mechanic too heavy" is meaningless to the one asking;).

If you want a game book that talks you through things like social hierarchies, designing feudal estates, etc. then 1st edition is the one to get (just get a magnifying glass because the text is tiny!). Every subsequent edition of the game presented less and less of this. Actually 4E does make an effort to re-introduce it, but the treatment in 1E is very 'gamist' - i.e., full of details you can use to play at the table - whereas the 4E treatment is more like what you would pick up from your own reading in the non-fiction section in local library.

David Johansen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • D
  • Posts: 5353
    • View Profile
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 12:17:02 AM »
Quote from: trechriron;949633
One of my gamer friends (Lloyd Wiebe - RIP bro) knew the creators and play-tested the game for them. I just had to pop in and give Lloyd the spiritual shout out. Man I miss the Professor. :-(

II used to know a guy who had Ed Simbalist for a math teacher.  Are you in Alberta?
My new website is a mess http://www.uncouthsavage.com but actually should be working now!

Hermes Serpent

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • H
  • Posts: 228
    • View Profile
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 03:42:23 AM »
A lot of the material taken out of 1st edition can be found in Life on a Medieval Barony (William Stearns Davis) which is where Ed got it from in the first place. As it's out of copyright you can get a reprint from loads of sources.

Hermes Serpent

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • H
  • Posts: 228
    • View Profile
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 03:53:07 AM »
With regard to the 'best' edition I'd suggest that 2nd is probably the way to go. It loses the small typeface and replaces one volume with three but the majority of the material that makes C&S so good remains. My copy of the Red book fell apart from use over time but the three volume 2nd ed has certainly stood up better. The box often gets damaged but keeps the books in decent condition. You are likely to pay quite a bit for a copy in good condition but they do come up every now and again on eBay etc.

The old Loyal Order of Chivalry and Sorcery archive can be found at http://web.archive.org/web/20010721022411/locs.org/ and there's a forum at http://chivalrysorcery.myfastforum.org/index.php which isn't very active but has some useful/interesting material hidden away.

AsenRG

  • Bloody Weselian Hippy
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5036
    • View Profile
    • http://storiescharactersandsystemsinrpgs.blogspot.com/
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2017, 06:34:02 AM »
Quote from: Larsdangly;949672
If you want a game book that talks you through things like social hierarchies, designing feudal estates, etc. then 1st edition is the one to get (just get a magnifying glass because the text is tiny!). Every subsequent edition of the game presented less and less of this. Actually 4E does make an effort to re-introduce it, but the treatment in 1E is very 'gamist' - i.e., full of details you can use to play at the table - whereas the 4E treatment is more like what you would pick up from your own reading in the non-fiction section in local library.

Quote from: Hermes Serpent;949716
A lot of the material taken out of 1st edition can be found in Life on a Medieval Barony (William Stearns Davis) which is where Ed got it from in the first place. As it's out of copyright you can get a reprint from loads of sources.

Thank you, both of you. I've got the 4th edition and I've read said book already.
Seems like I need to read the game rules, now;).
What Do You Do In Tekumel? See examples!
"Life is not fair. If the campaign setting is somewhat like life then the setting also is sometimes not fair." - Bren

trechriron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1845
    • View Profile
    • https://www.trechriron.com
Chivalry and Sorcery
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2017, 03:39:18 PM »
Quote from: David Johansen;949682
II used to know a guy who had Ed Simbalist for a math teacher.  Are you in Alberta?

I am not; Renton, WA USA. I met the Professor in Las Vegas, NV I lived for 6 years but moved back to WA 3 years ago.
Trentin C Bergeron (trechriron)
Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast

----------------------------------------------------------------------
All About Me, RPG Stuff...
D.O.N.G. Black-Belt (Thanks tenbones!)
Unfortunately for the perma-offended, reality lacks a trigger warning. - Warboss Squee